Reviews by Blythe Smith

C+
U.S. Male

When I think of the top ten sexiest hobbies, stamp collecting doesn’t exactly make the list. In fact, it’s probably near the bottom, sharing space with butterfly collecting and obsessive devotion to YuGiOh cards. So I kind of got a kick of this book’s cover, which features a naked male torso, ...

D
Highland Magic

I think I just wanted a Jamie Fraser fix, but I should have judged Highland Magic by its awful cover. To borrow someone else’s fine turn of phrase, it features a hero I thought of as “Scottie McMullet,” kissing the throat of a woman wearing what looks like a cheap Halloween costume. After read ...

B+
Origin In Death

I actually read this book for the first time several months ago. Nearly every book that gets reviewed passes through my way first, but I don’t usually have time to sneak a peek at any of them; I just have too much on my plate. When I spot a J.D. Robb book, I generally make the time. So I read this ...

B-
Blame it on the Blackout

Last week I had a sudden, burning desire to read a series romance. I didn’t have any on hand, and I was trapped at home with a house full of loud teenage girls (celebrating my daughter’s birthday). I looked through Harlequin’s website, hoping something would catch my eye. Blame it on the Black ...

F
First Kiss

Well. When you’ve been reviewing romances for a few years, you start to think you’ve seen it all – the best of the best, and the worst of the worst. Happily, every time I become a little blasé, something will happen to surprise me. First Kiss is deplorable enough to shock even a veteran revie ...

C-
The Captain's Castaway

The Captain's Castaway is a fairly tepid offering from Signet by debuting author Christine Scheel. It features a shy sea captain who rescues a nearly-dead American girl on the open seas. Love and romance - of a sort - ensues. It has some interesting moments, and the premise isn't bad, but the execut ...

B-
That's Amore

Anthology
That's Amore is a trio of stories that feature characters from different ethnic backgrounds. All of the stories feature weddings, and each of them showcases traditions and customs that are different from the mainstream. The prologue sets up a common thread that ties all the stories together: a woman ...

C+
Once Upon a Sofa

I'm of two minds about Once Upon a Sofa's cover. On the one hand, it's really fun. It's the first cartoon cover I've seen on a Regency, and I like cartoon covers. It signals an interesting new direction in the formerly stale world of Regency cover art, and it's a change I welcome. On the other hand, ...

C+
Talk of the Ton

Anthology
Talk of the Ton is a quartet of stories that all feature ton gossip in some way. Some are more clever and inventive than others, but they all hover around the average range. ...

B-
The Paid Companion

When I began reading romance seriously (almost 11 years ago), Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz was among my first discoveries. My husband was in grad school and money was tight, so I would check out all her books from the library. I had an in with the librarian, who would automatically put my name firs ...